Theme: The Journey to Proficiency
Due Date: April 5, 2019
Chairperson: John Rook (email@example.com)
Announcement of the Winner of the 2019 Essay Contest
This year CT COLT conducted the seventh (8th) annual WORLD LANGUAGE STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST. For 2019, students explored the following theme: The Journey to Proficiency. In a formal essay-response, students researched and wrote about the following subtopics related to proficiency in the learning of foreign languages:
(1) Consider the difference between proficiency and performance, as well as the case in support of proficiency-based language learning to better argue and support your contentions. Give specific and precise evidence to support your claims.
(2) How has your proficiency-focused classroom differed from any language instruction or language learning that you have experienced in the past?
(3) What are the benefits of proficiency-based language learning for language learners? Which benefits have you seen in your own school and/or with your own language learning?
(4) How have you personally felt more empowered and engaged in the language-learning process as a proficiency-based language learner? How have you been personally involved in charting your journey to language proficiency? How informed are you about your language-learning progress and of areas where you need to work (speaking, writing, viewing, listening, reading)?
(5) How has proficiency-based language learning helped you to reach your personal and academic goals thus far? How will it assist you in reaching your professional goals in the future?
(6) Do you have any recommendations or advice for students and teachers in a school district that has not adopted proficiency-based language learning? Is this something that should be embraced by the entire US?
Students were required to craft well-organized arguments, constructed from objective, fact-based information, in addition to drawing upon personal experience from their own learning of foreign languages. The essays were submitted by world language students from only one (1) school in Connecticut - Stonington High School and read by the CT COLT Essay Contest Committee. The essays were then scored according to the 2019 contest writing rubric which included the following criteria: (1) citations and accuracy of facts cited; (2) persuasiveness of arguments; (3) conventions of writing and (4) organization of essay. CT COLT and all board members would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all student writers and their teacher for participating in this year’s contest. All students who submitted essays for this year’s contest will receive a 2019 Certificate of Participation from CT COLT.
This year’s committee is proud to announce that the winner of the 2019 CT COLT WORLD LANGUAGE STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST is Heidi Chappell of Stonington High School. The committee and CT COLT applaud Ms. Chappell for her excellent essay which references both fact-based arguments and personal experience. In a well-organized essay, Ms. Chappell incorporates her own life experience in her proficiency-based language class, alongside objective evidence that validate such events in her life. For example, Heidi mentions the importance of making mistakes, taking risks, using circumlocution and doing various other classroom activities and methods, utilized by her teacher, to build her linguistic proficiency. She reflects on how she has come to assume more responsibility and accountability in her language learning, in addition to building self-confidence and belief in her own linguistic abilities. One result has been her practice-teaching at the elementary schools in Stonington as a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. She closes her essay, commenting on the need to promote proficiency-focused language on the learning to ensure that schools are preparing informed, confident and language-proficient global citizens.
We are pleased to present Heidi with a $50 award. In addition, we are happy to provide her teacher, Mrs. Lea Graner-Kennedy, with a $50 Carlex or Teacher’s Discovery voucher. CT COLT would like to thank all students and their teacher in this year’s contest and look forward to next year’s CT COLT Essay Contest in 2020. Please click HERE to download a copy of Heidi’s winning essay.
John R. Rook, Chair for the 2019 CT COLT Essay Contest